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Deputy Minister told to vacate state bungalow

Aug 25 (DM) The Elections Department has asked Deputy Minister Weerakumara Dissanayake to vacate a govt circuit bungalow occupied by him and a group of supporters. He is said to have been using the bungalow to carry out election activities in the Anuradhapura district. According to a complaint lodged at the Elections Department the deputy minister had been occupying the circuit bungalow belonging to the Building Materials Corporation in Anuradhapura. more..

Sri Lankan President immunity argued in New York

Aug 25 (EIN) It is reported today, August 23rd, that the issue of Head of State Immunity for Sri Lankan President, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaska, in the case of Vathsala Devi v. Mahinda Rajapaksa (Docket# 11-CIV-6634) was argued in the US District Court, Southern District of New York. The Tamil widow of Thurairajasingham (Colonel Ramesh) brought an action against Mahinda Rajapaksa, the sitting President of Sri Lanka more..

Scabs of War and Tourism in Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (UT) Tip too much and I’ll feel like a clueless, imperialist white globetrotter blithely handing out bills like penny candy to the little people in an exotic land who “need it more than you do.” I’ll feel like a walking piggy bank, this oft-romanticized experience of having “met the locals” reduced to a sterile monetary transaction as the gardener walks away chuckling to himself, another fish hooked right through his fat Western wallet. Of course, tip too little and I’ll simply feel like the overly smug, more..

In step with tradition

Aug 25 (HT) Geographical time makes continents, history makes countries. Until 7,000 years ago, the sea around Adam’s Bridge being 10 metres lower than it now is, the southeast coast of India and the northwest coast of Sri Lanka were umbilically linked by land. The people of the two landmasses moved for millennia with ease, doubtless in both directions, across what is now a chain of soft islets between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar. With seawaters rising and engulfing the land link, more..

Chinese firm says coal plant failed after overuse

Aug 25 (Reuters) A Chinese firm which designed Sri Lanka’s only coal power plant said recent repeated failures were due to over-utilization of the plant without annual maintenance, after an extended drought reduced 85% of the country’s hydro power generation. CEB on Aug. 13 extended nation-wide daily power cuts by two weeks, due to repeated problems at the plant in Norochcholai which knocked out almost a fifth of the island’s generating capacity. more..

Sri Lankan pilot flew with two women in cockpit?

Aug 25 (AA) In a blatant disregard for aviation rules and ignoring passenger safety, the pilot of a Sri Lankan Airlines flight (No. UL 172) bound for Colombo from Bengaluru International Airport, allegedly allowed two women to accompany him in the cockpit for the entire length of the journey. Passengers on the flight, which took off from BIA around 9.15 pm on Friday, claimed that the two women travelled in the cockpit all through. The passengers, who were worried about their safety, protested. more..

Work on Oluvil harbour nearing completion

Aug 25 (DN) Construction activities of the Oluvil harbour are nearing completion at a cost of Rs 7,000 million, Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said. "The Oluvil harbour construction project commenced on June 20, 2008 in line with the govt's initiatives to set up a modern port system in the country. 'Under this project, many ports are being constructed throughout the coastal belt,' he said. The Oluvil Port is among the ports being constructed aiming to get the maximum contribution from the port more..

Oil spill: Legal action against vessel owners

Aug 25 (DN) Marine Environment Protection Authority Director General S R Samaratunga said they will take legal action against owners of the Cyprus flagged Bulk Carrier MV Thermopylae that has sunk within a range of six to eight nautical miles off the shores of Panadura. He said they are taking steps to assess the extent of damage the ship has caused on Sri Lanka’s coastal environment with its oil spillage to the sea. more..

Rains cause traffic chaos in Colombo

Aug 25 (Island) Sudden rains that lashed Colombo from early yesterday morning caused havoc on most roads leading to Colombo. The Meteorology Department warns that the rains could continue for two more days due to disturbances in the lower atmosphere. Meteorologist–in–charge Pabodini Karunapala said that showers or thundershowers could occur in the south western and western parts of the country including the Colombo, Galle, Matara and Hambantota Districts. more..

Nuclear technique summit in Colombo

Aug 25 (Island) The International Nuclear Technique summit would be held in Sri Lanka with the participation of 17 countries. The aim of the summit is to control the impact of land use practices and land degradation through nuclear techniques, the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) said. The meeting would be held from 27 to 31 August at the Galadari Hotel. The participating member states will be Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, more..

SLPA saddled with unforeseen financial headache

Aug 25 (Island) Despite several deadlines having lapsed, the Danish contractor, M.T. Hogaard, which undertook the construction of the Oluvil port, in July 2008, has failed to complete it. In terms of the contract, the project which started with a generous interest free loan of Euro 46.1 million from Denmark should have been completed within 27 months by September 2010. Then, the contractor was given a nine-month extension, more..

Amendments to GCE A/L papers send students into a tailspin...

Aug 25 (LB) In the wake of the Z-score scandal that had engulfed the A/L exam held in 2001, the 2012 A/L exam got underway early this month. Several issues concerning the exam started to emerge as well and most prominent among them was the Mathematics paper. The contents of the Mathematics paper was called into question from the outset, and this paper and the contents of three other papers had to be amended. more..

Tulsa DNA experts train Sri Lankan biologists

Aug (No6) Oklahoma expertise in DNA testing is being shared as a group of forensic biologists from Sri Lanka wraps up weeks of training in Tulsa. They are finishing up training in DNA analysis at the OSU School of Forensic Sciences in Tulsa. "These people work for the FBI equivalent in Sri Lanka," said Dr. Robert Allen, OSU Forensic Sciences. Sri Lanka doesn't have the capability of doing DNA testing, so as part of a Department of Justice program, they're in Oklahoma to more..

'Tamil cause undone by lack of unity among SL groups'

Aug 25 (PTI) DMK chief M Karunanidhi today reiterated that lack of unity among various groups in Sri Lanka had undone the Tamil cause and insisted on unity to 'achieve our objectives.' The DMK chief, addressing a public meeting here to explain the resolutions of the August 12 Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) Conference, recalled that different groups, including the now decimated LTTE had promised him during a TESO conference, recalled that different groups more..

Sri Lanka forex reserves US$7.1bn by July

Aug 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves had risen to 7.1 billion US dollars by end July 2012 from 6,045 million US dollars in June, helped by a loan from the International Monetary Fund and other inflows, the Central Bank said. Sri Lanka received 414 million US dollars as final tranche under a 2.5 billion US dollar loan, which goes directly into the country's foreign reserves by passing the domestic monetary system. more..

GMOA targets hospital head

Aug 25 (Island) The GMOA yesterday claimed that the lives of patients who seek treatment at the Karawanella Base Hospital (KBH) were in danger due to the administrative lapses on the part of the hospital’s Medical Superintendent. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalin Ariyaratne said that the hospital administration was in a crisis situation and the MS was a law unto himself. But, the Regional Director of Health blamed the more..

Oil slick reaches Wellawatte shore after ship sinks

Aug 25 (AD) A thin layer of oil from the rusting cargo vessel which sank off Panadura is reportedly flowing ashore at Wellawatte. The coast guard and Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) officials are currently removing the sand affected by the oil, Director General of the Coast Conservation Department Anil Premaratne told Ada Derana. He however stated that the leaking oil will not have a serious impact on marine life more..

Jayalalithaa writes to PM on training of Lankan personnel

Aug 25 (PTI) Accusing the Centre of showing “excessive enthusiasm” in training Sri Lankan defence personnel, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday said it has “mischievously concealed” the training being given to two Sri Lankan officers in Tamil Nadu since May and demanded that they be sent back. “.. I have expressed in no unclear terms the strong views of my govt on imparting training to defence more..

Berty says raid not linked to him

Aug 25 (LBO) Former NCP Chief MInister Berty Premalal Dissanayake said that the much publicized raid on three govt stores had got nothing to do with his election campaign and it is an injustice to blame him. “The raids were carried out on govt storerooms. These are warehouses that equipment for projects that have begun as far back as ten years ago is stored and they continued to be stored there. They have got nothing to do with my campaign. These projects are continuing,” he said. more..

Tilak to reveal all if probe is stifled

Aug 25 (DM) Former SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne whose resignation caused a storm said he was willing to come forward one day and reveal facts and figures of the alleged malpractices in the Colombo Stock Exchange. “Yes I’m willing to come out with the facts and figures, I have nothing to hide and I have no skeletons in my closet like many others,” he said. He made these comments when he was asked if he would be willing to come forward and disclose the names more..

Editorial: Egoism and selfishness will destroy society

Aug 25 (DM) What use is there in constructing roads, providing electricity, water and other facilities if we are unable to mould responsible citizens? Parents, religious leaders and teachers should look after children more than they do at present. We push our children to excel academically and in sports activities. We would pay anything to make them reach high levels of performance. Religion we opt to ignore as unimportant or unnecessary. The most we may think of more..

Sri Lanka: Moves on the electoral chess-board

Aug 25 (EAR) The Lankan govt suddenly and unnecessarily dissolved three provincial councils two months ago. The rumour was that it was testing the waters for early parliamentary elections in 2013 as a precursor to presidential elections before the cut-off date of January 2016. It is beneficial to have a pliant parliament in situ during a presidential poll. Since there is little prospect of price rises ending, the economy improving, or anger at scandalous corruption and abuse of power subsiding, more..

Segu Dawood Saga: Another split in the Muslim Congress?

Aug 25 (DBS) SLMC “Thavisalar” (Chairman) and Batticaloa District MP Basheer Segu Dawood is in the eye of a political storm. The 52 year old politician from Eravur has resigned his post as Deputy Minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade but continues to retain his MP seat and Party chairmanship. Segu Dawood’s dramatic move seems to suggest that the premier political party of the Sri Lankan Muslims more..

UNP rallies taboo for those facing disciplinary inquiries

Aug 25 (Island) The UNP has ordered all candidates, contesting on its ticket and its Chief organisers for the Sabaragamuwa, North-Central and Eastern Provinces not to invite those facing disciplinary inquiries and those who openly criticise the party leadership, to address propaganda meetings. The letters sent to them has been signed by party’s General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. The Party would institute disciplinary action against those who defy those instructions,

Sri Lanka arrests 98 illegal immigrants bound for Oz

Aug 25 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested at least 98 people who were trying to illegally leave for Australia by two trawlers. A trawler named Ann Mishal was intercepted with 77 on board in the western seas off the West coastal town of Chilaw while 21 more on board another unnamed trawler were intercepted eastern waters off the eastern coastal town of Batticaloa, the Navy said. The arrested are to be handed over to the police for further investigations. more..

A/L questions pasted on school walls?

Aug 25 (AD) Several questions of today’s GCE A/L exam Buddhist Culture question paper were displayed in the walls of two schools, the Ceylon Teacher Services Union (CTSU) charged. The questions were printed on posters which were pasted on the walls of Matugama C.W.W. Kannangara Maha Vidyalaya and St. Mary’s College, CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said. He stated out that a student had informed a private radio station regarding more..

Canine helps police control traffic

Aug 25 (Island) The Island came across a strange canine friend who takes shelter at the traffic division of the Grandpass police station and helps the policemen with their daily duties. If a traffic offender engages in an argument with policemen on duty, the dog, which is fondly called Sudda barks at him menacingly. Sudda’s frequent haunt is the place where the policeman controls traffic at the Ingurukade Junction and everyday he sits next to the policeman directing traffic with a watchful eye the passing traffic and his friend in uniform. more..

Posters and stickers on private buses - LPBOA complains

Aug 25 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) has lodged a formal complaint with the Commissioner of Elections about UPFA candidates forcefully pasting their election campaign posters and stickers on private buses. Speaking to Ceylon Today, LPBOA Chairman Gamunu Wijeratne said UPFA candidates of Kagalle and Ampara District have been using the buses without paying the bus owners and that these candidates are also pasting stickers on the buses. more..

Universities to reopen 3 Sept.

Aug 25 (CT) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake told Ceylon Today that universities would be reopened on 3 September, after being closed last Tuesday (21). Claiming that discussions with FUTA has been successful so far, he said there was a high possibility of the lecturers’ strike being called off by 3 September. It was reported that Secretary Ministry of Finance and Planning, P.B. Jayasundara was to discussions with FUTA yesterday. more..

Malwatte prelate wants FUTA issue resolved through dialogue

Aug 25 (Island) Most Venerable Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera stressed that the strike by the university teachers should be resolved through dialogue by a team including intellectuals. But at any cost the free education of the country should be perfected. The Mahanayaka Thera made this remark when the Deputy Minister Nandimithra Ekanayaka called on him on Thursday afternoon to brief the prelate on the issue with more..

Open clashes inside Yala over safari business

Aug 25 (Island) A clash erupted between members of the independent safari jeep service association and three companies servicing luxury camp sites within the Yala National Park. The clash which was in its second day, yesterday had been over the latter attempting to provide a normal safari service. Although there had been a rift between the two groups for some time, it had now grown in to an open clash, park officials said. When The Island inquired about the clash from a more..

A teardrop in the ocean

Aug 25 (Hindu) On the penultimate day, in mid-August, of the month-long annual festival of the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, Alarmel Valli is sitting cross-legged in front of a makeup mirror, spine as upright as a skyscraper, in a modest room. The morning has not begun well. She frets that she has made one eye bigger than the other. “I don’t want to look like a monster,” she says, clearly alluding to a universe whose fearsome creatures come in lithe frames more..

11-member team sent to A’pura to probe election law violations

Aug 25 (CT) The Elections Secretariat dispatched an 11-member team to Anuradhapura yesterday, to look into election law violations and the allegations of State vehicles being used for election propaganda. Commissioner of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya said the Secretariat has received 55 complaints of election law violations and two on election violence from the Anuradhapura District. “The situation was quite serious before, when the candidates were misusing State resources more..

Basil says public can decide whether development programme is correct

Aug 25 (NF) Minister Basil Rajapaksa says that the public has been given an opportunity to decide if the development programme launched by the govt is correct. He expressed this view at a function in the Elahara area in Polonnaruwa. The function was held to commence renovation work on the Elahara Pekkulam in Polonnaruwa. It is learnt that funds amounting to Rs.150 million have been allocated for the renovation of the tank which provides water to around 450 acres of paddy land. more..

Fonseka for a common opposition

Aug 25 (CG) Former army commander Sarath Fonseka has called for a common opposition to fight the government. Fonseka said this at a function attended by UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya, a few other UNP parliamentarians and former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Jayasuriya’s media unit said today. He says the common opposition horse which he once rode has been hurt and bandaged but yet he wants to strengthen that horse and take it forward. more..

India again explains vote on Lanka at UNHRC

Aug 25 (CG) India has again explained the reason why it voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva in March. According to the Indian media, Preneet Kaur, the Indian Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs had been asked at the Lok Sabha yesterday about the vote on Sri Lanka. In a written reply Kaur said: “India voted in favour of the resolution ‘Promotion, Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, Geneva on 22 March 2012. The vote was in line with the govt’s consistent stand to advance the more..

Elections will silence critics: President

Aug 25 (IE) Hitting back at critics, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said the snap elections called for three provincial councils next month would silence them. Addressing the voters of the North, Central and South-western provinces last night, Rajapaksa said that his govt had faced unjust international criticism for ending a three decade old separatist armed conflict. He said local and international critics point accusations at his govt for human rights abuses to embarrass him more..

Ashanthi goes international

Aug 25 (CG) Ashanthi de Alwis, better known simply as Ashanthi, launched her international crossover album ‘Rock The World’ together with the Universal Music record company, becoming the first Sri Lankan female to release an album internationally. Ashanthi, the ‘Queen of Sri Lankan Hip Hop music’, is the youngest and only female in the Island to be signed to an internationally recognized record label (Universal Music). more..

NTC to submit report to COPE about buses without licences

Aug 25 (NF) The National Transport Commission states that a report will be submitted to the COPE about buses without vehicle licences. Its Chairman Roshan Gunawardana stated that they have identified about 100 such buses plying on the main roads in the country. He went on to say that this condition is worse in the Colombo - Jaffna and Colombo - Batticaloa routes. He also stated that even though they have spoken to the police in this regard, this condition still prevails more..

Theft at National Museum - suspects to be questioned under PTA

Aug 25 (NF) The Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered the Colombo Crimes Division to detain and question further, the suspects arrested in connection with the theft at the Colombo national Museum under the prevention of terrorism act. The order was given when the CCD which is conducting investigations into the theft, informed court on the progress made in the investigation. The CCD informed court that the suspects have been questioned under detention orders and more..